I get a lot of questions from new grad nurses about real life nursing. So here it is:
The truth about , sleepless nights, waking up early (4:30am) if you’re day shift, working nights and not being home with your family (If you are night shift), taking care of sick patients and worried/upset family members, coming home late (if day shift 8-9pm depending on commute), not seeing your own family & friends, missing out on social gatherings due to work schedules, working holidays and weekends, working long hours (at least 12.5 hrs), getting unpleasant things (urine, blood, vomit, mucus) on your scrubs... Sometimes having to deal with nurse bullying, especially when you’re a new grad RN. The list goes on and on... but I think you get what nurses deal with.
This is real life for nurses, which is not similar to Grey’s Anatomy. So the next time you see a nurse don’t say: “you’re so lucky, you only work 3 days and then you get 4 days off.” That routine depends on the hospital policy, staffing, and census. I have never had that luxury. There have been time where I worked 9 12.5 hr days in a row just to have 1 day off. Then go back to another 3 in a row. Also, if some nurses are “lucky” enough to have that schedule there is a reason for it. It’s because nursing is such a mentally and physically exhausting job, that is why private hospitals consider 36hrs (3, 12 hr shifts) full time. Government owned hospitals still want you to work 80 hrs per pay period (every 2 weeks). So you have to work 6, 12 hr shifts and an 8 hr shift every 2 weeks to make the 80hrs. But I love every minute of it.
Remember, you don’t HAVE to do this, you GET to do this!